Changes in fourth edition of PMBOK
Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) is widely recognized as the leading resource on Project Management. The PMBOK is published by PMI. PMIs PMP certification is based on the PMBOK. A new version of PMBOK is published every four years. The Fourth Edition of PMBOK was published in December 2008. PMIs PMP certification is based on the Fourth Edition of PMBOK from July 1st 2009. This article gives an overview of the changes introduced in the Fourth Edition of PMBOK.
The formal scope statement of PMBOK Guide - Fourth Edition states "Any necessary work to make the standard more accurate, up to date, relevant, clear, concise, and easy to understand and implement. This may include the re-organization of content, additional content, refinement of content, or deletion of content."
In a nutshell the changes in Fourth Edition are relatively small (compared to changes in earlier editions). One of the main theme of the Fourth Edition is to make the PMBOK more consistent. For example process description at various places is consistent. The new guide also reflects recent changes in Project Management usage in the industry.
In the Third Edition, Project Management Plan was kind of an all-inclusive document. In real projects there are many other artifacts that are created during a project life cycle. These project dcuments have been clearly differentiated in the Fourth Edition. Specific examples of project documents are Sellers List, Assuption log and Milestone list.
Another step in making the standard consistent is that all process names are now in the verb-noun format. For example the process Scope Planning is names as Define Scope. Almost all the processes have been renamed to ensure this naming convention.
Other than this Manage Project Team in Project HR Management process area is changed from a controlling process group to an executing process group. Manage Stakeholders in Project Communication Management knowledge area is renamed to Manage Stakeholders Expectations, and is changed from a controlling process group to an executing process group.
In the Project Procurement Management process area two processes "Plan Purchases and Acquisitions" and "Plan Contracting" are merged into a single process called Plan Procurements. Also in the Project Procurement Management process area two processes "Request Seller Responses" and "Select Sellers" are merged into a single process called Conduct Procurements. Over all there are now 42 processes instead of 44in the Third Edition.
Another significant change is that a new appendix on project management people skills have been added.
To summarize the Fourth Edition of PMBOK does not make significant changes in key concepts. However it does make definitions and naming conventions consistent through out the book.